When it comes to choosing a Middle Eastern main course, how can one not include shawarma? This glorious Lebanese creation deserves a hall of fame of its own. Its delectable flavor of juicy meat – chicken or beef along with sauces, pickle, and fries make for an amazing combination. Moreover, imagine the garlic sauce and fries in it to make it a wholesome meal. Mouth-watering, ain’t it?
What is Shawarma?
Shawarma is a gourmet sandwich found in Middle Eastern restaurants infused with a variety of flavors and leaves you craving for more. We guarantee you won’t be able to stop at just one. The method of grilling vertical stack of meat pieces and shredding it off appeared in the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, what is now known as Turkey, in the form of doner kebab. This food, which is as much the Mediterranean as it is Middle Eastern, has chunks of marinated meat mounted on a large rotating spit and roasted to perfection against a gas-burning grill.
How to Make Shawarma?
While shawarma is prepared with thinly sliced cuts of meat – chicken, beef, mutton, or turkey, our personal favorite is chicken shawarma. Making traditional chicken shawarma requires well-marinated chicken, layered on the vertical spit where it’s slow-roasted for hours – in its juices and fat – until perfectly tender and cooked. To serve it, the chef typically shaves a layer of the meat off the spit and piles it into pita bread, jazzes it up with fries, veggies, and tops it up with heaps of garlic sauce to give you the heavenly goodness!
Trust us, chicken shawarma is the epitome of seductive Middle Eastern flavors. The good news is we’ve found an easy way to make it at home with guaranteed authentic flavor.
Grilled Chicken Shawarma Recipe
- 8 boneless chicken thighs skinless
For the marinade
For the sauce
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 1/2 cup onion sliced
- 4 cups lettuce shredded
- 8 pita bread rounds
- In a glass baking dish, mix together malt vinegar, 1/4 cup yogurt, vegetable oil, mixed spice, cardamom, salt, and pepper.
- Place the chicken thighs into the mixture and turn to coat it evenly on both sides. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃).
- In a small bowl, mix together the tahini, 1/4 cup yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley.
- Season with salt and pepper, taste, and adjust the flavors. Cover and refrigerate.
- Cover the chicken and bake in the marinade for 30 minutes. flipping once.
- Uncover, and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is browned and cooked through.
- Remove from the dish, and cut into slices.
- Place sliced chicken, tomato, onion, and lettuce on pita bread.
- Roll up, and top with tahini sauce.
What to do with Leftover Chicken?
You can use the leftover chicken marinade and incorporate it into salads, fried rice, or even a healthy rice bowl. Make your recipes interesting by experimenting with different sauces and veggies. This way, you can avoid burning a hole in your pocket and discover new recipes.